Melton RFC completed their season in style by winning the County Plate at Market Harborough on Sunday.
Entering the Shield competition, the Melton team opened with a 3-0 win against Vipers 2.
Great line speed and textbook tackling from Knott on their scrum-half dislodged the ball. Tilson collected and fed Neath to run down the wing and score the opening try.
A thumping Mills tackle prevented a certain try, and after great rucking from Thorpe and Hardman, Neath strode clear from his own try line to score a solo second.
Melton dominated the second half with excellent rugby. Good tackling from Dickson and Ford allowed Thorpe to power over in the corner to cap the win.
Against a very strong Oadby Wigston team, Melton took control, but were caught out on the wing without any support, allowing Oadby to score on the stroke of half-time.
Melton fought back bravely, but injuries to key players disrupted their flow and Oadby, the eventual Shield winners, added two more tries.
In the Plate Final, Melton faced a powerful Vipers first team.
Sharp’s drive was stopped on the line following Hardman’s clever kick, but once Melton pressure forced a turnover, Tilson’s pass released Cropper to score the first try after some clever sidesteps.
Cropper returned the restart down the line and the ball passed through the hands of every player to release Neath for the second try. A third score followed just before half-time with Neath and Knott involved.
A handling error allowed Vipers to score against the run of play, but with renewed determination, Melton camped on the Vipers line with Sharp, Cropper, Knott and Thorpe all held up.
More fine tackling from Dixon, Dickson and Ford in midfield allowed Mills to run deep into Vipers territory where Hardy’s great clear out and swift pass put Hardman in at the corner.